Hoefl-Riesch fastest in WCup training; Vonn 12th
VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) — Former overall World Cup winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch posted the fastest time in a downhill training session on Wednesday, while Lindsey Vonn was 12th quickest in her comeback from injury.
Hoefl-Riesch, who went off course in Sunday’s slalom race at Courchevel, clocked 1 minute, 49.30 seconds on the Olympique de Bellvarde course. Austrian skier Anna Fenninger was second in 1:49.47 and Spaniard Carolina Ruiz Castillo finished third in 1:49.56.
Vonn, a four-time overall winner and the defending Olympic downhill champion, crossed the line in 1:50.53 behind defending World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia.
The downhill is scheduled for Saturday with a giant slalom to follow on Sunday.
American Leanne Smith and Austrian Stefanie Koehle did not finish the run.
Earlier this month, the 29-year-old Vonn returned from racing for the first time in 10 months after a serious knee injury. She finished fifth in her last race, a super-G on Dec. 8 at Lake Louise, Alberta. She skipped last weekend’s St. Moritz as part of a lighter schedule before the Sochi Olympics.
During training in November, Vonn partially re-tore one of two knee ligaments that were reconstructed last February following a crash at the world championships.